- Category : Entertain-Music-Conductor
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (16,20)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX The Clarion 1
Anglo-German pianist and conductor, and founder of The Hallé orchestra in 1858.
His first lessons were from his father, an organist. He then studied at Darmstadt, Germany in 1835, and as early as 1836 went to Paris, where for twelve years he often assoociated with Luigi Cherubini, Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt and other musicians, and enjoyed the friendship of such great literary figures as Alfred de Musset and George Sand. He had started a set of chamber concerts with Jean-Delphin Alard and Auguste Franchomme with great success, and had completed one series of them when the revolution of 1848 drove him from Paris, and he settled, with his first wife and two children, in London.
He conducted elsewhere in the country also, as well as performing as a pianist. He was the first pianist to play the complete series of Beethoven's piano sonatas in England. Hallé's piano recitals, given at first from 1850 in his own house, and from 1861 in St James's Hall, Piccadilly, were an important feature of London musical life, and it was due in great measure to them that a knowledge of Beethoven's pianoforte sonatas became general in English society.
He moved to Manchester in 1853 to direct Manchester's Gentleman's Concerts, which had its own orchestra and in May 1857 was asked to put together a small orchestra to play for Prince Albert at the opening ceremony of the Art Treasures of Great Britain, the biggest single exhibition Manchester had ever hosted. Hallé accepted the challenge and was so happy with the results that he kept the group together until October, forming the fledgling Hallé Orchestra. The orchestra's first home was the Free Trade Hall. By 1861 the orchestra was in financial trouble (it performed only two concerts that year), but has survived under a series of accomplised conductors until the present day.
In 1888 Hallé was married for a second time to the violinist Wilma Neruda, widow of Ludvig Norman and daughter of Josef Neruda, members of whose family had long been famous for musical talent. The same year, he was knighted; and in 1890 and 1891 he toured with his wife in Australia and elsewhere.
He died at Manchester on 25 October 1895.